How to Fix a Crack in a Cheesecake

One large crack has already been fixed. The smaller one, closest to the front, still needs a quick swiping. Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.

So, you’ve worked hard to follow a cheesecake recipe, and maybe you even did a water bath. But as you pulled the cake out of the oven, you noticed a big crack in the center of your cheesecake? Don’t fret. You don’t have to cover it up with fruit topping, or a ganache.

If your goal is to have an aesthetically pleasing cheesecake, you’ll appreciate this quick tutorial on how to fix even several inch-wide gaps.

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Easy Last Minute Super Bowl Recipes

Image, courtesy of Home is Where the Boat is. They also offer an easy,
no-bake recipe, for Football cake pops.

If you are still scrambling to figure out some easy, quick menu items for Super Bowl, look no further. These recipes are sure to please a crowd. Best yet, they’re so simple, anyone can make. So, don’t forget to enlist your kids to help.

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A Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift to Make

After printing out on a black ink printer, use a red marker to fill in the hearts. Simple, but does the job.

It’s 2022, and many of us are still staying home, ordering online, or getting creative. Maybe we just forgot about getting a gift. This simple, quick template is not a fabulous design, full of flowers or crests. But for me, it does the job.

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Healthy and Easy Desserts for Valentine’s Day

Image courtesy of KraftHeinz, where their variation makes a layer of
sugar-free lemon/strawberry middle.

Some people believe: If it’s a special occasion, don’t worry about the nutritional value of a dessert. But that kind of thinking doesn’t help anyone that is diabetic, or on a weight-loss journey. Maybe your loved one is just trying to eat healthier.

Eating healthier means something different, for everyone. As always, respect the dietary restrictions of your loved ones, and they’ll be a lot happier.

Below are recipes that come straight from my own creative kitchen, or one used within my family, for generations. They are all very easy, contain 6 or less ingredients, and are almost foolproof. Plus: A bottom link was added to an amazing strawberry heart idea, I must try sometime. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, and It’s quite ingenious.

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Making and Wearing Masks More Effectively

N95 masks are still hard to find. Ensure your homemade/bought masks
fit your face snuggly. The CDC now has new recommendations,
for cloth, and differences in respirators. Image courtesy of Mark Morrow.

This site generally doesn’t touch upon such serious subjects. Yet, with the newest, very contagious, variant Omicron, sometimes we need to.

It looks like mask-wearing will be part of our lives, for quite some time. Buying disposable masks, is costly. Buying really good grade, disposable (KN95 or N95) masks, is even more so. With so many fakes out there, it’s hard to distinguish, which are which. Below are a few options, that won’t empty your wallet.

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Making Vines for Your Stranger Things Yard

After creating a Mind Flayer for my roof (tutorials Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I knew the creature needed something more: Vines. The Upside Down World was filled with vines that hung everywhere, and vines that attacked. They were a part of the hive mind, associated with the monsters of Stranger Things.

After scouring the web for prices on vines, it was clear: My budget couldn’t afford the 100 or more feet needed. Continue reading

Part 3 of The Mind Flayer Build

Mind flayer whole body made for roof

This is the third and final installment of how to build a Mind Flayer. In the Part 1 tutorial, you’ll find how the frame body was made. Part 2, goes over the head build. For Part 3, I’ll show you how I made over 200 feet of legs.

Supplies Needed:

  • Poultry Galvanized Netting (150 ft. x 3 ft.), often called Chicken Wire
  • Wire Clippers
  • Green Floral Wire, 22 gauge, at least 3 large rolls
  • Waterproof Filler : Many, many plastic bottles from 16 oz to 2 liters (about 2 or 3, 30 gal. bags full)
  • PVC Pipe 3/4″, 4-5 10 ft. pieces (more if needing to use as filler, instead of bottles)
  • Black Plastic Sheeting (should have plenty, if bought suggested size roll from Part 1)
  • Heat Gun 
  • Foam Pool Noodles
  • Spray Foam (optional for PVC leg filler, but will definitely need for vines hanging on Monster later)
  • Drill or Dremel (for holes in PVC pipe)

Hopefully, by now you know how long your legs need to be, and you know how to use a heat gun. If not, read instructions, and stay focused. You can burn yourself faster than you can imagine. Continue reading

Part 2 of The Mind Flayer Prop Tutorial

mindflayer on roof

Part 1 of the Mind Flayer Prop build, covered how to build the torso. Now we’ll move on to the head, and if not too lengthy, the legs.

Supplies Needed for Building Head

  • A Large Cardboard Box (Like from a 45″ or larger, flat screen TV)
  • Extra Cardboard for pointed end of head, and protecting work table
  • Pool Noodles (at least 2)
  • Wire
  • Toothpicks
  • Red/Black Acrylic Paint
  • 2 Hot Glue Guns
  • Glue sticks: Clear, red, and black
  • Plastic Dip or Flex Seal Rubber Spray
  • Plastic bottles or waterproof packaging, and Styrofoam, to add shape to head, and act as filler
  • A Can of Expanding Spray Foam (preferably the type for gaps over 1″)
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Clear Packing or Clear Duct tape
  • Black 6 ml Sheeting (* FOLLOW LINK IN PART 1 FOR WARNING)
  • Heat Gun with Hi/Lo options
  • Scissors
  • 6 ft. or longer table to work on 
  • 2 Plastic coated garden stakes ( approx. 3 feet each, optional, but recommended)
  • Drill 

If you haven’t gone over Part 1 with the body frame, please do so, before moving on. A few tips there can save you some unnecessary steps later. 

Directions:

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Stranger Things Comes to Charlotte, NC

A close up of the Mind Flayer’s head. It sits on a 10 foot body, with over 100 feet of legs, positioned on a roof. Image Copyrighted 2021, Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

With an unrelenting pandemic, coupled with the rest of the world’s chaos, how could I not think of, The Upside Down World, of Stranger Things? It seemed like the most appropriate idea for our 2021 Halloween yard.

After mulling over the size of the Mind Flayer, the next consideration was how to get it on the roof. I’ve seen a few folks have one stand in their yard, and thought, NOT BIG ENOUGH! My husband said, “Build it, and we’ll figure a way to get it up.” Also, it couldn’t just be a Mind Flayer, but the whole yard had to be an Upside Down World.

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Welcome, Dr. Finklestein!

Dr. Finklestein now joins my NBC family. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved

Just a brief post to introduce my latest Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween prop created: Dr. Finklestein. I’ll try to add the tutorials, when I get the chance. He joins Jack Skellington, Sally, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Oogie Boogie, and the Duck/Vampire prop. Zero, the ghost dog, was sadly showing his age, so I actually found a new one the same size, and is now happily flying in the yard too.

If anyone wants to scramble to make this fella, he stands about 5 feet or less, and I used extra couplers of 40 degree or 90 degrees to have him sit. So if you follow my usual PVC prop skeletons (See Lock, Shock, Barrel), you’ll be able to figure out the sizing.

The tutorial for Dr. Finklestein will be split into a few different segments, because there are too many steps (especially the head), to put into one single post. If you were determined or had help, all could be complete within a week. But alas, it took me at least four weeks to finish. If you want every post sent directly into your email, click the ‘Follow’ and you won’t miss the entire process. Thanks!